3D Printing

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dryson

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing

3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology where a three dimensional object is created by laying down successive layers of material.[1] 3D printers are generally faster, more affordable and easier to use than other additive manufacturing technologies. 3D printers offer product developers the ability to print parts and assemblies made of several materials with different mechanical and physical properties in a single build process. Advanced 3D printing technologies yield models that closely emulate the look, feel and functionality of product prototypes.
A 3D printer works by taking a 3D computer file and using and making a series of cross-sectional slices. Each slice is then printed one on top of the other to create the 3D object.
This process that is relatively new will allow space explorer's to create items necessary to their mission as well as allowing companies on Mar's and the Moon to manufacture items such as habitat modules, couplings, fittings etc. at a relatively cheaper price than if the items had to be sent via cargo ship to the destination.

Although the current process is quite small manufacturing engineer's will be able to enlarge the process area to be able to print a variety of items that would be made from the refined ore from the planet that the mission is based upon on.

http://www.shapeways.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20R9nItDmPY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0m1cVqNsRA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5scCMxu ... re=related
 
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dryson

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Do you know of anyone that is currently a 3D Manufacturer? Or does your experience come first person?
 
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dryson

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I think it is X-Prize time.

Build and launch a lunar rover capable of processing lunar regolith into useful objects.

I for one, think it would be a fun project to build a little autonoumous robot that could go around and print out objects... I should do some research into whether Earth-materials such as sand or gravel could be processed into building material. 5 days on a hotel China? How about a few HOURS with my a large printing robot
This process would work but after facilities necessary to mine and refine the ore had been built. Until then cargo shipment's of the necessary material would have to be sent to the Moon where the manufactured items would then be manufactured for use as hab mods or replacement parts.

3D Printing is probably the cheapest and easiest method of enabling the pundits of space exploration to conquer the ledger books too show prospective entrepreneurs that the cost of maintaining a facility on the Moon, Mar's, LEO or asteroid facility would be well worth the cost of the venture.
 
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annodomini2

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dryson":27js216y said:
Do you know of anyone that is currently a 3D Manufacturer? Or does your experience come first person?
RepRap, Open source 3D Printer, the aim of which is to achieve a state where it can reproduce itself.

You could be 3D printing

www.reprap.org

There are various manufacturers doing off the shelf kits aswell.
 
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WannabeRocketScientist

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MeteorWayne":1qe2wwy5 said:
This is decade old technology....
I would counter that the technology to put one of these on the Moon or on Mars is not decade old technology.

I recall an article from not so long ago that said that lunar regolith could be used as a building material. I imagine all we have to do is suck the regolith up, and then form it with something like water or some other liquid, similar to cement.

Put how would one lay power? Could it perhaps lay conductive lines within the buildings similar to how printed circuit boards are made?
 
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dryson

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I would counter that the technology to put one of these on the Moon or on Mars is not decade old technology.

I recall an article from not so long ago that said that lunar regolith could be used as a building material. I imagine all we have to do is suck the regolith up, and then form it with something like water or some other liquid, similar to cement.

Put how would one lay power? Could it perhaps lay conductive lines within the buildings similar to how printed circuit boards are made?
Very true. First we would have to find out what comprise's the regolith then what chemicals would need to be added as well as other components to strength the Lunar Brick. Once the composition of each brick had been determined we could then design a 3D printing manufacturing facility on the Moon that would cut the cost of the operation by maybe a few hundred trillion dollars over a traditional operation.

Since the brick would not be very large one of the cost reduction's involved would be eliminated by using basic hab mods as the printing facilities instead of having to first build large airtight and pressurized facilities. All that would be need would be a Lab -> Mixing Facilities -> Pre-Printing Storage Facility that would then feed into the 3D Printing Lab Facilities -> Kiln -> Inspection Facility-> Storage Area, (an underground area dug out to create a storage cavern, what a hole that would be.) -> Build Area.

Koch Knight LLC might be able to do such an operation on the Moon. If they could make the brick UV resiliant as well as being resiliant to micrometeor impact we could have a winner. Their current product is making acid proof brick to funnel chemical's through a steel vessel that would otherwise dissovle the metal vessel, which could serve other venue's such as providing a base of oepration's for refueling of ships destined for Mars and out there.
 
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dryson

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Put how would one lay power? Could it perhaps lay conductive lines within the buildings similar to how printed circuit boards are made?
I don't see why it wouldn't be able to accomplish such a task. It might require a different program set-up or even taking the circuit board like you are saying to another 3D Printer to have the conductive lines printed on the circuit board.

I wonder if there will be an application that would allow the 3D Printing to create edible food products?

"Tea, Earl Grey Warm." First comes the 3D Printing program that makes the ceramic cup and then the cup is filled with tea.

You have to remember with this type of technology that it is also bond by Moore's Law. Which means that every two years the rate of capacitor's that can go into a computer increase by two while the capacitor's become smaller and more durable. Moore's Law then translate's into technology such as 3D Printing becoming faster and faster and able to handle more complicated application's such as the eventual layered printing of circuit boards where the circuit board and the actual conductive pathway's are printed at once.
 
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SpacexULA

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dryson":3ea290kz said:
Do you know of anyone that is currently a 3D Manufacturer? Or does your experience come first person?

:) repraplogphase.blogspot.com

I currently have 1 Makerbot and 4 Mendel Reprap, I sell the RepRap parts for about $200-$250 a set and they take me about 17 hours to print per printer.

I have been doing development work in RepRap for a little over a year. i am proud to say I have printed 11 Mendels, and my designs have over 3000 downloads on Thingiverse.

If any of you guys are interested in getting into RepRap, let me know, Pruajr and I just finished a new design that is fast enough to print that I wouldn't mind helping you get into it www.thingiverse.com/thing:4711. Best hobby in the world :).

The newer Prusa Mendel is looking like $450 in the US to put together.
 
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JeffreyNYA

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So, just curious, can these printers actually make finished parts or is it more just for prototyping? What kind of CAD system do you use for this? I think it would be pretty fun to play around with this.
 
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vulture4

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This is useful technology but the idea that it would magically solve all our problems for space is just silly. Manufacturing requires considerable infrastructure and the process only produces solid plastic parts, or casting molds. What about finish machining, electronics, ceramics, elastomerics, welding, soldering, all the specialized metals and fluids? For any kind of general manufacturing to be practical in on the moon we would need a large (100+ people) base with many tons of logistics per month. A large ship like an aircraft carrier may have a machine shop, you won't find one on a submarine, destroyer, or freighter.
 
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MeteorWayne

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vulture4, thanx for inserting a bit of sanity and reality.
 
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Valcan

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vulture4":34dm1k3r said:
. A large ship like an aircraft carrier may have a machine shop, you won't find one on a submarine, destroyer, or freighter.
Not to be "that guy" but accually US ships like destroyers dont carry machine shops atm mainly because its considered cheaper (read: we have cut back our manning ratings-people onboard-till we dont have the hands to fix our vessels). The cres dont really work on there vessels so much as keep them running threw the deployment then have civilians do all the repairs that the crews arent rated to do. However in the past US ships used to carry there own small mills and such even tiny ones like pre WWII destroyers.

I dont know if Our nuke subs like the SSBN's And SSN's have one. Though i would assume that if they dont its far more likely to be because of noise and space requirements.

Also there are ships that service vessels with machine shops all that stuff etc like any fleet tender. But again this is for simpler things. As you said you cant manufacture complex computer parts etc. Though i have no doubt we can get that ability in the next 30 to 60 yrs or so.
 
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dryson

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Don't mind the neysayer's here there are stuck in the can't do or don't want progress to occur due to their own laziness.

Anyway.

:) repraplogphase.blogspot.com
I currently have 1 Makerbot and 4 Mendel Reprap, I sell the RepRap parts for about $200-$250 a set and they take me about 17 hours to print per printer.
I have been doing development work in RepRap for a little over a year. i am proud to say I have printed 11 Mendels, and my designs have over 3000 downloads on Thingiverse.
If any of you guys are interested in getting into RepRap, let me know, Pruajr and I just finished a new design that is fast enough to print that I wouldn't mind helping you get into it www.thingiverse.com/thing:4711. Best hobby in the world :).
The newer Prusa Mendel is looking like $450 in the US to put together.SpacexULA
Since you deal with 3D Printing first hand what application's do you see the 3D Printing on the Moon could provide for a Lunar mission?
 
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dryson

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This is useful technology but the idea that it would magically solve all our problems for space is just silly. Manufacturing requires considerable infrastructure and the process only produces solid plastic parts, or casting molds. What about finish machining, electronics, ceramics, elastomerics, welding, soldering, all the specialized metals and fluids? For any kind of general manufacturing to be practical in on the moon we would need a large (100+ people) base with many tons of logistics per month. A large ship like an aircraft carrier may have a machine shop, you won't find one on a submarine, destroyer, or freighter.
Coming from a family that has been part of the manufacturing sector their whole life where a few family members even owning their own business restoring tanks I can say that large scale operations on Earth would not be required like you mention.

I am also a certified 6G welder with six different type's of welding techniques to my credit and I can tell you the manufacturing sector is not all steel nut's and bolts as well as all steel to steel welding.

The manufacturing sector has changed since the 1940's.

Did you know that Polymers that go into making certain plastic's can actually make the plastic just as strong as a steel nut and bolt or even a structural span that would be used to create a trusss or stud. There is even a welding process that involves welding two pieces of plastic together in a similar way that you would normally weld to steel pieces together.

If there is a steel to steel process that is able to be replaced with a plastic to plastic application then need of having a 3D Printing facility on the Moon would be of benefit.

Let's look at the difference's in the environment's of the Moon when compared to the environment of the Earth.

On Earth the reason why steel is used instead of plastic for building structures and fastener's is because of the following:

EARTH
Advantages of Steel over Plastic as a building material on Earth.

1. The wind - If tall and very tall building's were built to codes that did not allow the steel members to twist within a certain range of tolerance then the structure's would actually experience greater material failure causing the building to fail at 5x the normal rate of material failure than if the building had been built to tolerate the wind.
2.Earth Quakes - Buildings are built to withstand the constant shifting of the Earth's crust. Even though we do not notice it the Earth's Crust is constantly moving. So the next time your significant other tells you that they made the Earth move the night before for you tell them "Hootspa." "That was the constant shifting of the planets plates and is called techtonic plate shifting."
3.Tornado's - A severe form of wind that can twist metal to the point of failure 10x faster than normal wind.
4.Fires - When a steel span or girder becomes hot enough the atoms within the steel become more active and less magnetically attracted towards each other. Fire causes the metal to fail structurally at the point of the most intense amount of heat which then causes overall structural failure of the facility on awhole.

Disadvantages of using Steel over Plastic as a building material on Earth.

1.Gravity - Gravity causes weight which is the main requirement of using steel in order to support all of the other objects within the building that also have a weight due to gravity.

MOON

1.Wind - No occuring except in the form of Solar Winds
2.Moon Quakes - Nil
3.Tornado's- Nil
4.Fires - Nil

Advantages of using Plastic as a building material instead of Steel on the Moon.
1.Gravity - Gravity is somewhat weaker on the Moon than it is on Earth so objects within a structure created from plastic structural members would also weigh as less than they do on Earth so the added extra support necessary to reduce structural failure is not necessary.

Having a facility on the Moon that would be able to manufacture the base component's that would use plastic structural beams, spanner's and girder's along with the fastener's required to bolt the pieces together as well as plastic welding the various pieces together could be accomplished with plastic.

Using Plastic and the 3D Printing Process on the Moon WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE the cost of building any type of structure meant to live in on the Moon. There would need to be metal structural support to increase the structural integrity of a facility over ten feet tall but the need would be minimal.

Shipping the same type of metal structurual supports to the Moon would cost alot more than sending let's say forty tons of Polymer to be made into structurual supports.

You might think "Well forty tons of steel supports and forty tons of plastic are the same weight." This is true but with the steel members you would have to fabricate the pieces before they left for the Moon which would reduce the storage capacity of the ship hauling the cargo.

So instead of sending two missions to the Moon where 80 tons of Polymer are then 3D Printed into the necessary component's you now have to spend the money on 8 missions where ten tons of fabricated steel girders are sent to the Moon on each mission.
 
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dryson

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...And that's what it's all about people reducing the cost of building on the Moon to make colonizing the Moon worth the cost.
 
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annodomini2

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dryson":3m57ykpk said:
Did you know that Polymers that go into making certain plastic's can actually make the plastic just as strong as a steel nut and bolt or even a structural span that would be used to create a trusss or stud. There is even a welding process that involves welding two pieces of plastic together in a similar way that you would normally weld to steel pieces together.
True

dryson":3m57ykpk said:
On Earth the reason why steel is used instead of plastic for building structures and fastener's is because of the following:

EARTH
Advantages of Steel over Plastic as a building material on Earth.

1. The wind - If tall and very tall building's were built to codes that did not allow the steel members to twist within a certain range of tolerance then the structure's would actually experience greater material failure causing the building to fail at 5x the normal rate of material failure than if the building had been built to tolerate the wind.
2.Earth Quakes - Buildings are built to withstand the constant shifting of the Earth's crust. Even though we do not notice it the Earth's Crust is constantly moving. So the next time your significant other tells you that they made the Earth move the night before for you tell them "Hootspa." "That was the constant shifting of the planets plates and is called techtonic plate shifting."
3.Tornado's - A severe form of wind that can twist metal to the point of failure 10x faster than normal wind.
4.Fires - When a steel span or girder becomes hot enough the atoms within the steel become more active and less magnetically attracted towards each other. Fire causes the metal to fail structurally at the point of the most intense amount of heat which then causes overall structural failure of the facility on awhole.

Disadvantages of using Steel over Plastic as a building material on Earth.

1.Gravity - Gravity causes weight which is the main requirement of using steel in order to support all of the other objects within the building that also have a weight due to gravity.

MOON

1.Wind - No occuring except in the form of Solar Winds
2.Moon Quakes - Nil
3.Tornado's- Nil
4.Fires - Nil
4 Is wrong because if you are creating a breathable atmosphere for the inhabitants, there is oxygen, there can be fire.

2 Might be proven wrong.

dryson":3m57ykpk said:
Advantages of using Plastic as a building material instead of Steel on the Moon.
1.Gravity - Gravity is somewhat weaker on the Moon than it is on Earth so objects within a structure created from plastic structural members would also weigh as less than they do on Earth so the added extra support necessary to reduce structural failure is not necessary.
True, but the plastic isn't having to withstand a 1 bar pressure differential on Earth, whereas it would have to on the moon.

dryson":3m57ykpk said:
Having a facility on the Moon that would be able to manufacture the base component's that would use plastic structural beams, spanner's and girder's along with the fastener's required to bolt the pieces together as well as plastic welding the various pieces together could be accomplished with plastic.

Using Plastic and the 3D Printing Process on the Moon WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE the cost of building any type of structure meant to live in on the Moon. There would need to be metal structural support to increase the structural integrity of a facility over ten feet tall but the need would be minimal.

Shipping the same type of metal structurual supports to the Moon would cost alot more than sending let's say forty tons of Polymer to be made into structurual supports.

You might think "Well forty tons of steel supports and forty tons of plastic are the same weight." This is true but with the steel members you would have to fabricate the pieces before they left for the Moon which would reduce the storage capacity of the ship hauling the cargo.

So instead of sending two missions to the Moon where 80 tons of Polymer are then 3D Printed into the necessary component's you now have to spend the money on 8 missions where ten tons of fabricated steel girders are sent to the Moon on each mission.
I disagree about shipping the materials to the moon to build a structure.

If you want a structure going down, is much more efficient in terms of materials than building up.

The implementer may wish to line the tunnels created with plastic (brought from earth), using the techniques available through this technology. This should, hopefully, reduce the amount of plastic required.
 
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SpacexULA

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vulture4":24lj0fji said:
This is useful technology but the idea that it would magically solve all our problems for space is just silly. Manufacturing requires considerable infrastructure and the process only produces solid plastic parts, or casting molds. What about finish machining, electronics, ceramics, elastomerics, welding, soldering, all the specialized metals and fluids? For any kind of general manufacturing to be practical in on the moon we would need a large (100+ people) base with many tons of logistics per month. A large ship like an aircraft carrier may have a machine shop, you won't find one on a submarine, destroyer, or freighter.
Let's see if I can answer some of those:

Finish Machining? Not much success there
Electronics? doing quite well http://objects.reprap.org/wiki/Pololu_Electronics
Ceramics? http://www.creativeapplications.net/ope ... rameworks/
Welding? Not much success
Fluids? http://fabathome.org/wiki/index.php/Fab ... 2_Overview
Lasercutting? http://blog.makerbot.com/2010/11/16/mak ... er-cutter/
High Resolution printing? http://3dhomemade.blogspot.com/2010/10/ ... sults.html

So no these printers are not the end of manufacturing by any stretch of the imagination, they are not replicators from Star Trek.

I absolutely think that this type of functionality should be included in any long term mission away from the earth though. The ability to have unattended fabrication of replacement PCB, connectors, fasteners, housings, etc etc could be invaluable in a jam, remember Apollo 13.
 
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Skyskimmer

Guest
Cool tech and all but it's no game changer, just a convient option if it's around at the right time. It's as close as you'll ever get to a star trek type replicator.
 
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dryson

Guest
We are not talking about 3D Printing being used on a f**cking aircraft carrier so quit responding to the post with replies related to it being used on an aircraft carrier.

The thread is related to using the 3D application application on the Moon. If you want to discuss the application being used aboard an aircraft carrier then start you own thread about aircraft carriers. But then again this website is not related to Earth based application's but rather insteadd space based applications. So either stay on topic or go waterboard yourself.

Now to reduce the cost of sending the 3D material to the Moon I would propose using the new X-37B as the cargo delivery system. Although the cargo capacity is able to transport no more than 500 pounds at a time. I'm certain that a newer model would be built to be able to transport 1000 pounds of material to the Moon to be used in the manufacturing process.

The question is how much material would need to be used to create a section of wall to protect the inhabitants that would measure one foot thick by six feet in height by six feet in length?
 
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